Pathway: Engineering Design w/ 3D Printing

Having a shared learning community is essential in today's fast paced world. Public power by nature is a shared community where ideas, safety tips, lessons learned, and new innovations are shared to benefit the public. This activity utilizes shared learning communities to help you learn the basics of 3D printing correlated with workforce skills including the "Ask" and the "Imagine" stages of the engineering design process.

Find out what open sourced learning means in a classroom and in the utility industry. Using the shared knowledge of a learning community inspires you to "ASK" questions and "IMAGINE" new ideas - the first two stages of the engineering design process.

Innovation is taking place all around you - especially in the utility industry. Public Power is a unique partnership between energy providers, service providers, consumers, and other public power organizations! Your task is to explore some of these partnerships to discover how public power utilizes the idea of "open sourced learning" to improve electrical safety, electrical efficiency, and electrical service.


1. Visit - http://eprijournal.com - this is a publication from the Electric Power Research Institute. While you are there find one innovative project that excites you and record some basic information in your engineering journal.

2. Visit - the American Public Power Associations DEED Digest to see what energy related sharing is going on. Pick two projects and write down 3 questions you have about the innovations in the articles.

3. Visit your local utility website and search for innovation happing right in your area. If you need a place to start visit NPPD.com's Powering Innovation page. Sketch out an idea that has been inspired by one of the projects in your local area.

Where to go to get inspired.

1. Visit ThingiVerse 

2. Search on the term "electricity" and explore the possibilities - record any projects you are interested in by sketching a quick picture and recording the thingiverse.com information.

3. Search on a term of your choice and explore the possibilities - record any projects in your engineering notebook.

4. After selecting a few potential projects - ASK yourself questions about each one - recording them in the notebook. Questions such as "how big is this thing?" "Where could I use it?" etc.


The NPPD STEM Connections Lab utilizes the Afinia H800 printer. Please review their overview video before you print!


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